Camping World to Replace Mello Yello as NHRA Title Sponsor
After weeks of rumors bouncing around social media websites, the National Hot Rod Association and Camping World announced that the nation’s largest RV retailer has partnered with the NHRA to be the title sponsor of the national drag racing series for the remainder of the 2020 season. Unfortunately, the racing sanction body and its teams have not been immune to the financial devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The NHRA was forced to shutdown events after racing teams and sponsors had arrived at the Gatornationals in March at Gainesville Raceway in Florida. Like many other sports, drag racing was put on hold until the NHRA sponsored four consecutive events at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis in July, August, and September.
According to officials, the NHRA filed a lawsuit against Coca Cola alleging the company broke its sponsorship agreement after missing a payment in mid-May. The lawsuit contends that the beverage giant used the COVID-19 pandemic to illegally terminate the agreement to save money and breached its contractual promises. Camping World was the title sponsor of the NASCAR Truck Series for nine years before moving the sponsorship to its newly acquired business Gander RV & Outdoors, formerly Gander Mountain retail stores. Coca Cola had been a title sponsor of the NHRA since 2002. The company’s Powerade brand was the first series sponsor followed by Full Throttle in 2019 and Mello Yello in 2012. Both the NHRA and NASCAR Truck Series will have Camping World sponsorship in 2021.
With over 160 Camping World and Gander RV & Outdoor SuperCenters nationwide and a full-service call center, Camping World has established a strong history with race fans, drivers, teams, and sponsors. After pulling off the mid-season switch, the partnership will be in full swing in 2021 when the NHRA celebrates its 70th anniversary and Camping World celebrates its 55th year of outdoor RV living. The National Hot Rod Association is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing and hosts 14 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series for Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle. In addition, the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which hosts a variety of classes, and the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Series are both sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association.